Immigration is a powerful topic on which people typically have strong opinions. As an immigrant myself, who came to this great country at age 16 to study in college, and who had to go through the whole long process of naturalization, which took almost 16 years, I'm a living example of how immigration benefits America: started multiple companies, created 50 jobs, paid tens of thousands in taxes each year, and promote American values and views on freedom across the world.
America was built on immigration and much of its strength, wealth and greatness is due to defining nationality not based on ethnic, racial or religious basis, but based on citizenship and acceptance of American values.
According to Harvard University, eight signers of the Declaration of Independence were not born in the U.S., and were actually born in the country Americans fought and declared independence from: "two were born in England (Button Gwinnett, Robert Morris), two in Ireland (George Taylor, Matthew Thornton), two in Scotland (James Wilson, John Witherspoon), one in Northern Ireland (James Smith), and one in Wales (Francis Lewis)."
Party of Lincoln was the party of immigration. The GOP platform of 1864 declared that “foreign immigration . . . should be fostered and encouraged by a liberal and just policy.”
President Reagan envisioned America, he would say in his farewell address, as a land whose “doors were open to anyone with the will and the heart to get here.”
According to the Bipartisan Policy Center, during World War I, around 500,000 immigrants served in the U.S. military—approximately 18 percent of all soldiers. Over 300,000 immigrants served in the U.S. armed forces during the Second World War. In 2016, there were approximately 511,000 foreign-born veterans of the armed forces residing in the United States. Additionally, 1.5 million veterans had at least one parent that was an immigrant.
Furthermore, examining military casualty reports and obituaries from September 11, 2001 through 2013, as well as genealogical information for more than 6,000 fallen service members, the NAE report reveals that 284 immigrants died advancing America's national security interests.
Almost half of Fortune 500 companies were founded by American immigrants or their children, including Google, eBay, Chobani, Intel, Tesla, Kraft Foods, Kohl's, Yahoo, and many others. An analysis from the Small Business Administration found that 10.5 percent of U.S. immigrants own a business, compared with 9.3 percent of native-born Americans. In other words, an individual immigrant is about 10 percent more likely to own a business than a non-immigrant. Immigrants start businesses at higher rates -- for every 10,000 immigrants to the U.S., about 62 will start a business -- more than double the rate for the native-born.
Immigrants have had a tremendous positive effect on Montgomery County, especially in redeveloping entire chunks of abandoned and foreclosed parts of North Dayton. A large number of medical doctors and engineers are also immigrants in Montgomery County. Many small businesses were started by immigrants, with an economic impact calculated in the millions of dollars each year.
You can read more facts and analysis on immigration from these authoritative studies:
U.S. National Academies of Sciences: https://www.nap.edu/catalog/23550/the-economic-and-fiscal-consequences-of-immigration
University of Pennsylvania Wharton Business School: http://budgetmodel.wharton.upenn.edu/issues/2016/1/27/the-effects-of-immigration-on-the-united-states-economy
Economic Policy Institute: https://www.epi.org/publication/immigration-facts/